Twelfth Meeting - 28 November 1997


List of attendees - 28 November 1997


A list of meeting attendees is here.



The meeting opened at 9.40am. The Chairman apologised for the late start.

The Chairman welcomed members to the meeting, noting the following apologies:

  • Mr Anthony Albanese MP
  • Cr Mark Bonanno, represented by Cr Mark McLeay
  • Cr Ken Finn, represented by Cr Margaret Martin
  • Ms Deirdre Grusovin MLA, represented by Mr Pat Williams
  • Mr Robert McClelland MP, represented by Ms Lyn Hespe
  • Mr Stephen Mutch MP
  • Ms Sandra Nori MLA, represented by Ms Ros Habig
  • Cr Peter Olah
  • Ms Maria Patrinos, represented by Ms Toula Bull
  • Cr Mary Rawlings, represented by Ms Judith Ohana
  • Mr David Saul, represented by Mr Bill Moss
  • Cr Kevin Schreiber
  • Mr Paul Zammit MP



Members adopted the provisional agenda and agreed to proceed in the order listed with the following items included:

  • 8A - Fuel Release
  • 10A - Air Quality
  • 10B - Kurnell Issues



The Draft Summary Record of the eleventh SACF meeting held at the Commonwealth Parliamentary Offices, Phillip Street, Sydney, on Friday, 19 September 1997, was accepted without amendment. Actions arising from the eleventh meeting were noted.



Correspondence on Badgerys Creek

The Chairman reported that he had written to the Minister, conveying resolutions on Badgerys Creek from the last meeting, and to the Minister for the Environment, noting disappointment on the lack of consultation re the Sydney Airport International Terminal environmental clearance.

Mrs Chikarovski suggested the Chairman should also write to the NSW Government conveying SACF support for the development of Badgerys Creek as Sydney's second airport.

Minister's visit to Sydenham

The Chairman informed the meeting of the 31 October 1997 walk-around in the Sydenham area at which the Minister, Mr Albanese and Cr Cotter met local residents and discussed compensation, insulation and the development of a community park. He advised that the Minister would soon be making a decision on the acquisition of weatherboard houses, compensation for businesses, Commonwealth funding for the park and Marrickville Council legal costs.

Runway Resheeting Program

The Chairman also advised members that the proposed resheeting program for the middle section of the main north-south runway would take place during the summer. Mr Merner advised the meeting that, subject to industry consultation, the Department proposed to issue curfew dispensations for the resheet work similar to those issued during last summer's resheet program.

4.1 LTOP Taxiway Works: The Chairman reported on a meeting which had taken place with Mr Tony Stuart, the General Manager, Sydney Airport, and Ms Julieanne Alroe on 10 November 1997 with a view to discussing the scope for accelerating the works. Ms Maria Patrinos attended the meeting and Mr Anthony Albanese had been unable to attend.

While the discussion had productively covered a range of issues, the Chairman believed there was a need for a further discussion between the FAC and a broader group of SACF members. He also proposed that Mr Stuart be invited to the next SACF meeting.

The Chairman reported also on a subsequent meeting held with the FAC on 25 November 1997 to discuss taxiway works which was attended by Mr Hill, Mr Lidbetter and DTRD.

4.2 Timing of Relocation of Runway 16L Threshold: The Chairman reported that this was an issue on which he had not had the opportunity for a discussion with the Minister. He undertook to raise the matter on 1 December 1997. He advised that the possibility of moving the eastern landing threshold on the east-west runway (runway 25) to the east has been raised within the IMC. There was further discussion on this issue under Agenda Item 5.

Mr Lidbetter requested that the Chairman advise SACF members of the outcome following the proposed meeting with the Minister.

4.3 Long Term Operating Plan Comments: The Chairman informed the meeting of his disappointment at the campaign of misinformation in which some councils had participated in relation to the Sydney Airport Long Term Operating Plan. He told the meeting that he felt it was his role as Chairman of SACF to correct incorrect reports about the Plan.

He reported that he had had discussions with Sydney Airport, Airservices and to a lesser extent DTRD about development of a community information program. As a result Gavin Anderson and Kortlang has been engaged as a consultant. Sydney Airport and Airservices would be paying for the consultancy and would produce a brochure and a publicity campaign for the information of Sydney residents.

The Chairman reported that advertisements would appear in newspapers from Monday 1 December 1997. The major newspapers would have half-page advertisements about fairer sharing of aircraft noise and informing the public of the 1800 telephone number in order to obtain copies of the brochure. He advised technical questions would be referred to Airservices and that copies of the brochure would go to SACF members, community groups, libraries, councils, airlines and individuals.

The meeting discussed a letter which SACF members had received from the Mayor of Woollahra. Members agreed that the focus of any debate about new flight paths should be the provision of accurate factual information. Members concurred with the Chairman's stated intention not to respond to the detail of the Mayor's letter.

Members strongly supported the principle that the Chairman's role was to respond to any misinformation about the Plan.

4.4 Mobile Noise Monitoring Study: The Chairman advised that Ms Valerie Bray's response to the Mobile Noise Monitoring Study and Airservices' comments on Ms Bray's response had been posted to SACF members. A further response by Ms Bray received immediately prior to the twelfth meeting would be posted to members. It was agreed that Mr Leigh Kenna of Airservices and Ms Bray should meet to discuss the study and the outcome be reported to a future SACF meeting.



Kevin Hill and David Lidbetter reported on several issues that IMC had considered since the eleventh SACF meeting:

  • ICAO "A" and "B" procedures
  • ILS on runway 25 to prevent difficulties with Mode 5
  • displaced landing threshold on runway 25
  • 34R departures in noise-sensitive hours
  • format of monthly reports and possibility of information being placed on Internet
  • Boston and Denver noise abatement arrangements
  • long haul jets at noise-sensitive hours
  • SODPROPS presentation
  • Trident
  • Mode 14A and conflict with Bankstown flight paths
  • early morning bias on 34 operations
  • higher arrivals and cleaner landings

Following discussion on the adoption of ICAO "A" departure procedure, Mr Lidbetter proposed the following resolution which was adopted by the meeting:

The Sydney Airport Community Forum requests Airservices Australia to immediately commence all necessary procedures required to implement ICAO "A" departure procedure for all jets operating at Sydney Airport and to enable such procedures to become effective without delay.

SACF further requests the Implementation and Monitoring Committee to examine as a matter of urgency any necessary requirements for refining and optimising the procedure to achieve optimum noise minimisation; such further refinements being implemented as necessary after the standard ICAO "A" procedure is operating.

Mr Bourke expressed disagreement with SACF adopting a position on this issue prior to it having been fully considered within the IMC.

Mr Don Brown, the IMC Chairman, responded to the issues raised by David Lidbetter and informed the meeting that work is still being done with the "trident". For the first step towards the trident, the requirement to join final by 10 nautical miles would be removed on 4 December. Airservices undertook to provide a report to the February 1998 meeting on SACF about timing on the implementation of the trident.

Mr Lidbetter and Mr Hill sought secretarial assistance in relation to their roles as SACF nominees on the IMC. DTRD invited Messrs Lidbetter and Hill to outline their specific requirements and undertook to consider how assistance could be provided.



Ms Julieanne Alroe reported that a copy of the Sydney Airport Environment Management System was available for members' perusal. Members asked if three copies of the report could be centrally located in order that members might read them at leisure. Members suggested that the libraries associated with Marrickville, Rockdale and Botany Councils might be suitable venues. The FAC agreed to make arrangements for copies of the report to be available.

Ms Alroe tabled a report on the seagrass transplantation and monitoring program which was being carried out in Botany Bay. The report is attached.

Julieanne Alroe briefed members on the progress of major Sydney Airport projects as well as new developments which were being considered or planned. The main projects outlined were apron parking and relocation of storage areas, the carpark in front of the domestic terminal, tunnel-boring and an aircraft maintenance facility for 747s. Ms Alroe also advised members that the Sydney Airport Demand Management Bill 1997 received Royal Assent on 17 November 1997. Ms Alroe tabled a Quarterly Update Report. This report is attached.

Members asked whether the Sydney Airport health study was available. Ms Alroe advised that stage 1 was complete and stage 2 would be finished by the end of next year. Ms Alroe advised she would check on whether any part of the study was available for distribution.

Jeremy McGrath informed the meeting of difficulties in accelerating taxiway works, including the complex matter of managing so many sites. He advised it may only be possible to definitively assess whether any acceleration is possible after the contractor is on site. He advised there would be elements of construction in February, March, April, May, June and July 1998.



DTRD reported on two recent incidents which required jets to land from the north onto the main north-south runway during the curfew period.

The first incident, which resulted in some adverse reaction from the public to the Noise Enquiry Unit, was a Qantas jet which landed at the Airport on 15 October 1997 at 5.25am, prior to the end of the curfew, after the pilot of the aircraft had declared an in flight emergency due to having insufficient fuel to hold or divert to another airport.

The Sydney Airport Curfew Act 1995 provides for the declaration of a fuel emergency in flight without there being a curfew breach within the meaning of the Act.

DTRD reported that it had written to Qantas for (and received) an explanation of the circumstances surrounding this incident, but that BASI was also investigating this incident and DTRD's response will not occur until the investigation has been completed. DTRD undertook to advise SACF of the outcome of the investigation as soon as possible.

DTRD also reported that in another incident, on 27 October a National Jet Systems BAe146 from Brisbane attempted to land soon after the commencement of the curfew period but had to perform a missed approach due to the prevailing wind conditions. After holding for some time the aircraft landed from the north on the main north-south runway due to it having insufficient fuel to divert to another airport. A critical factor in this incident seemed to be the pilot's confusion over the introduction of daylight-saving time in NSW.



The monitoring reports distributed to members were noted by the Forum.

8A -Fuel Release by Evergreen

DTRD distributed a paper explaining the circumstances of a prima facie incident on 14 October 1997 which had been reported by Airservices. An Evergreen 747 100 series freighter on charter to Air New Zealand was reported to have emitted a white continuous trail from one wing which appeared to be a release of fuel. The cause is thought to have been a faulty valve in the fuel system.

DTRD explained to the Forum that the Department is exploring the development of regulations to enable legal action to be initiated in cases where there was sustainable evidence of unauthorised fuel release.



Members noted correspondence to (i) the Minister for the Environment, noting disappointment on lack of consultation re the Sydney Airport International Terminal environmental clearance; and (ii) the Minister conveying two resolutions from the meeting of 19 September 1997 about Badgerys Creek.

The Minister's response to the SACF resolutions about the need to expedite construction of a second airport at Badgerys Creek, dated 26 November 1997, was tabled during the meeting.

David Lidbetter tabled a letter he had received from the Leichhardt Airport and Urban Environment Research Group about Sydney Airport and associated air pollution.



10A - Air Quality

Members expressed concern over the high level of PM10 (very fine particulate matter) reported in some of the Sydney Airport air quality monitoring reports and requested the FAC give an explanation at the next meeting.

10B - Kurnell

Kevin Hill said that rumours relating to the Airport continued to circulate at Kurnell and he wished to ask if there was any truth in plans for a fourth runway or a committee discussing a Kurnell buy out. The Chairman responded that he was unaware of these issues and assured Mr Hill that the Government was committed to developing Badgerys Creek as a second airport.



Some members expressed concern that a break over the Christmas season would not give them the chance to discuss the Plan and obtain progress reports from the IMC.

For this reason, members agreed to SACF meeting again in late December.